Noble - We'll learn from Birkirkara clash

Mark Noble says West Ham United will take a great deal from Thursday’s game against Birkirkara, even if they made it harder work for themselves than they envisaged.

The Hammers were taken to penalties by the Maltese cup winners after losing 1-0 on the night, but won through on the shootout with Noble one of the successful takers.

The No16 wanted to wrap it up before then, but says another tough game will only sharpen the team up for the challenges which lie ahead.

He explained: “It’s obviously not [how we planned it], but we’re still in pre-season. I know it’s the Europa League and we are taking it seriously, but it’s only some of the boys’ second game.

“Obviously it didn’t help with James getting sent off and playing the rest of the game with ten men, in a country this hot. But overall we won the game, we’re in the hat, we’re only getting fitter. We’re learning how the manager wants us to play and as long as we’re in the next round, we’ve got a game next Thursday, we’re buzzing. “

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